Email Ping Pong

ping pong projectI attend many conferences speaking on the Vested Way and teaching the virtues of the Vested methodology. A good thing about conferences is they bring people together with new and fresh perspectives. Last week I spoke at the Warehouse Education Research Council’s annual conference and the morning kickoff speaker was Chris Helder, a 44 year old high energy Australian who was sharing a talk on “The Five Keys of Momentum.”

The first takeaway from his speech was to stop playing “email ping pong.” I immediately identified with the analogy, because in my talk I use the analogy of buyers and suppliers getting into a virtual ping pong match as they seek to negotiate: they fall into the trap of “win some, lose some” versus truly striving for a true win-win solution, the kind that can only be achieved by aligning interests.

Helder gave an example, and everyone laughed. It could have been a classic Dilbert cartoon. His advice? The next time find yourself playing email ping pong stop, pick up the phone and have a conversation. Otherwise you risk losing momentum, with one or both of the parties getting weary with the back and forth effort that almost always ends with whatever it was that was being discussed falling off the radar as something else takes priority.

Good advice from a pragmatist from down under!

Image: Ping Pong project by Michael Knowles via Flickr

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